History 29/01/20 How many British died during the “Arctic convoys” in the USSR
“the Arctic convoys” were called during the great Patriotic war plying along the Northern borders of the USSR convoys, which brought the allies military equipment and humanitarian aid. The program of lend-lease was developed by the United States to help the countries, the defense of which was strategically important to America.
According to the program of lend-lease to the Soviet Union were supplied with ammunition, medicines, food, military equipment, etc. During the war the Arctic convoys consisted of more than 1,400 ships. They carried different names: “dervish”, “PQ-1″—”PQ-18”, “JW-51A,” etc. Ships went from ports in Iceland and the UK. Moored in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.
the Nazis tried to prevent the delivery of defense goods in the territorial waters of the USSR. Convoys were brutally fired. Each rising on the deck, the sailor knew that a return home will be for him a miracle.
the most fortunate of the first ships. The Germans did not know about the program of aid to the Soviet Union, therefore, plying in the Northern waters of British destroyers and cruisers were not fired. But in 1942, everything changed. In January it was torpedoed and sank cargo ship “Waziristan” from convoy PQ-7.
learned about new strategy of the allies, the Germans pulled their forces to the North areas, and began regularly to monitor any movement by sea. In the implementation of the programme of the Arctic convoys, the British lost 16 combat and 85 merchant ships, which killed 3 thousand sailors. The Nazis broke up with 30 submarines, 40 aircraft, 3 destroyers and one battleship.
Thanks to the British, the Soviet Union received almost 5 million tons of cargo. It is about 30% of all aid to the allies during all the war years. Laden ships of the convoy went along the planned route column. They were accompanied by “escort” destroyers and trailingishiki who had to fight off fierce attacks of the Nazis.
Despite all efforts, the loss of the allies was huge. The Nazis literally destroyed the British fleet. Over time, the convoys began to equip the old merchant ships. Assessing our losses, both financial and human, is the Kingdom realized that undertook an incredibly difficult task.
for the First time this idea was voiced by sir Dudley pound, Admiral of the British fleet. Before going to sea the next Arctic convoy PQ-16 he said that this mission hung on the neck of England heavy stone.
However, his indiscretion was known to the Soviet side and then regularly used in the cold war as an argument against “calculating imperialists”. Later Valentin Pikul’s novel “Requiem to caravan PQ-17” also impartially presented to Admiral pound.
Note English sea-wolf not gone unnoticed in his homeland. Britain continued to regularly send convoys to the Soviet Union, but between the two countries have established a strained relationship, filled with suspicion.
during the execution of the mission of the Arctic convoys showed an enormous difference between the British and Russians. After the statements of Admiral pound, Britain changed tactics in the name of preserving his people.
once loaded the British destroyer fell fascist shell, the command immediately to his left and straddled the ship escort. The whole burden was thrown on the mercy of fate. In addition, even fired his own ship that he sank and satisfied the Nazis abandoned the convoy.
the Russian sailors behaved in the opposite way. An example is the fight for the ship “Old Bolshevik”, which participated in convoy PQ-16. The vessel was loaded with 4 thousand tons of explosives. When the convoy was attacked by German Messerschmitts, the ship was greatly damaged. On the deck, began a strong fire. At any moment the ship might blow up.
However, the Soviet sailors have left the ship. The heroic efforts they put out the fire and saved much-needed weapons. Our people did not occur to you that the defense load you can throw, because he waited for the Red Army.
© Russian Seven
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